Category Archives for "On Writing"

The Accidental Novelist

I’m sitting next to Chuck Palahniuk, the author of the wildly popular novel, FIGHT CLUB. His new novel is stacked neatly next to a cart that is loaded with dozens of copies of my first novel, THE HEART DOES NOT GROW BACK. We’re at Powell’s City of Books in Portland, and the rare book room […]

Cliches and “Center Cut” Dialogue

“Are clichés and commonly said phrases acceptable in dialogue?” My lessons learned on this question: Almost any instance of cliché, even if it’s spoken by a character, is going to get redlined by an editor. If they are polite, they will say “Is there a fresher way to get this across?” Most of the time […]

Author: Year One

As this February ends, I mark 1 year since THE SAMARITAN was released. So while I’ve been a “writer” for as long as I can remember, this is pretty much my first year as an “author.” With that in mind, to celebrate one year as an author, here’s 12 things I learned in the last […]

Fred’s Author Commandments

In interviews and discussions, I’ve talked about how, as a new author, I want to use it as an opportunity to really engage with people.  I’ve said a few times that “I’m a fan of readers.”  It sounds strange to some, but it is a one line summary of what I consider to be my […]

Catch Me Writing Dirty

Since “author” is in big bold print on this blog’s heading, I’m going to be doing regular entries about writing, and the first one is about writing “dirty.” Disclaimer: Writing dirty is not what you think it means.  It has nothing to do with sex, or swearing, or trying to get into the pages of […]